What can I expect? – Discernment
Some responses from members and inquirers about their lived experience:
What attracted you to the Company?
- Love for God, love for Angela.
- A simple, uncomplicated way of loving God above all, and loving and working for others and for the Church.
What’s your formation process?
- We start with a period of “getting to know” one another and St. Angela through individualized reflection with a formation guide. Then one-on-one conversations based on St. Angela’s writings and our Constitutions lead to one’s first consecration (two years) and renewal (three years). Grounded more and more deeply in experience, this pattern continues till consecration-for-life. Prayerful discernment accompanies all phases. Continuing formation is a life-long process of spiritual growth.
She must enter joyfully, and of her own will.
– Angela Merici
Do you pray?
- That’s our lifeline! Liturgy: Eucharist, the Prayer of the Church
- Private prayer such as meditation/contemplation, praying with Scripture. Personal devotions like the rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet.
What does the foundress mean to you?
- Spiritual mother and teacher, a model, a woman of passion, Christ-centered, warm.
- She had a passion for Christ and she lived it. She was real, understanding, and ahead of her time.
Do you miss having children?
- Sometimes. I used to think I was missing children, but now I find that there are many ways to love children.
- God has blessed me with spiritual “children.” I have godchildren and students. Spiritual motherhood is part of St. Angela’s charism.
Doesn’t celibacy feel lonely and isolating?
- Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely, because I’m alone with Christ. Many other relationships are important to me, too: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. My sisters in the Company are crucial. Fun is essential! I never feel isolated. But yes, to be honest, I do feel lonely sometimes.
What kind of community experiences do you have?
- Frequent conversations by phone, email and Skype/Zoom; occasional visits and regular meetings; annual gatherings. Each Company or group does different things depending upon where the members live.
- What surprised me was the members’ ability to live “together” even so far apart.
Go often, as you have time and opportunity…and visit your dear daughters and sisters, and greet them; see how they are, comfort them; encourage them to stand fast in the life begun.
– Angela Merici
What do other people think about your belonging to the Company?
- Members tell others about their membership in the Company if/as they feel it’s appropriate. There are no external indications. It’s a very personal decision, based on individual circumstances.
- My family is very supportive. Friends who know are interested, not sure what a secular institute is, but affirming.
Are you seeking something more?
Are you seeking a spiritual path through our world?
Are you eager for connections with like-minded women?